MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday afternoon that the sale of the Houston Astros from former owner Drayton McLane to new owner Jim Crane has been unanimously approved.I knew this was coming as part of the sale of the franchise to the new owner, and I understand Major League Baseball's desire to equalize the number of teams in the two leagues (the National League currently has 16 teams while the American League has 14). But, as somebody who grew up a loyal follower of the National League, I don't like it.
As part of the agreement, the Astros will be moved to the American League West in 2013, with Crane getting a $70 million discount on the sale price of the team. That will even out baseball’s two leagues at 15 teams apiece and allow for the fair implementation of two additional Wild Card spots. It also means that interleague play is going to be a year-round thing.
I don't like the designated hitter. It takes a lot of strategy out of the game.
I don't like the fact that the Astros will be giving up their long-standing divisional rivalries against teams like the Cardinals, Cubs and Reds and replacing them with new divisional "rivals" like the Angels, A's and Mariners.
I don't like the fact that playing those new divisional "rivals" on the road means 9 pm start times for television.
I don't like the fact that the presence of insufferably arrogant Yankees and Red Sox fans will now be an annual occurrence at Minute Maid Park.
I don't even like the fact that the Astros will get to play the Texas Rangers more often since both teams will now be in the same division. The two teams already play each other every year anyway. Big deal.
Nope. Don't like it at all.
To be fair to new owner Jim Crane: the move was forced on him. He didn't have a choice.
Of course, if he can't breathe some life back into the moribund team, which lost a franchise-record 106 games last season, it really won't matter which league the Astros are in because they won't be worth watching anyway.
The Astros will move to the American League beginning in the 2013 season.